– BAMIRO O. ISAIAH
Bamiro Opeyemi Isaiah was a dullard in Primary 4, but today he’s a First class graduate of Accounting from OAU and he’s a Professional Event Manager.
In this interview with Corpers’ Diary Team (CDT), he shares his life experience, how he was able to graduate with First class, become a pro event manager, talks about national and relationship issues. Excerpts…
This interview is a bit lengthy but an interesting one, I can ASSURE you that you won’t be bored. Read, enjoy and share!!!
CDT– Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
ISAIAH– My name is Bamiro Opeyemi Isaiah, a native of Ijebu north east, Ogun state. I’m the last child of a family of 7 (5 boys, 2 girls). I’m an Accountant by Profession with a special interest in Finance, and I’m an Event Expert by passion.
CDT– A bit of your Educational background
ISAIAH– I had my Primary School Education at Orisigun Primary School, Ketu, Lagos state, and then my Secondary school was at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School (JOGS), Ijebu Ode in Ogun state and I studied Accounting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I’m a Graduate Member of the Nigeria Institute of Management and by God’s grace, I will soon become a Chartered Accountant.
CDT– How was growing up like for you?
ISAIAH– Well, growing up was really tough, especially those primary school days. My primary education was really poor. Imagine when a primary 4 student cannot read and write! I’m sure you understand what I mean.
CDT– Let’s talk about your OAU journey. You graduated with a first class from OAU and surely it wasn’t an easy one. You even said as at when you were in Primary 4, you couldn’t read and write, so how were you able to switch from the little boy who couldn’t read and write in Primary 4 to a First class graduate of OAU?
ISAIAH– Well, I went back to God, the creator of both the foundation and the building. He changed my story for better. The OAU journey wasn’t a smooth one though, everything was different in OAU, and almost everyone in my class was a brilliant student. I wasn’t trying to be like anyone I just wanted to be my best. I set targets for myself and I strived to meet them with the help of God. Well, I never had the intention of graduating with a first class in OAU; as a matter of fact, my first result in OAU was a “C”. But you see me as I am ehn, I like prize, just attach a prize to a goal and then I will do all I can to achieve it. The quality of the prize does not really matter to me; it’s the achievement of the goal that gives me fulfillment.
CDT: So which prize was attached that changed the whole story
ISAIAH– In GSF OAU (academic subgroup) then, exceptional students were always celebrated at beginning of every semester for good performance in the previous semester, so I just wanted to be part of those that will be called out as well. I had the first class vision when I was in part 2 and what actually inspired that vision was my Church convention (GOFAMINT) that I attended that year. Some set of graduates were celebrated at that year’s convention for graduating with a first class. GOFAMINT church gave them laptop and money. Apart from what the church gave them, lots of people also gave them personal cheques. I was inspired that day and I told myself that I will do whatever I can to also graduate with a first class.
CDT– So let’s switch gears from your education now. You studied Accounting in the University, but you are now a Pro Event Manager, How did Event Management come into the picture?
ISAIAH– Laughs… Well it all started back then in University, I was not totally a bookish, I also did some extracurricular activities. I was in decoration subgroup in my fellowship and as time went by, I started developing passion for decoration. My passion got me searching for more practical knowledge because I knew there was more to what we were doing in the fellowship. I then applied for an internship at a popular event company (K&I Trendy) in Ile-Ife. I got the internship slot, so I started managing the internship with my academics.
CDT– So how was it like combining school activities (that you even still graduated with a first class) with the decoration activities in church and the internship? Knowing that there would have been clashes between these activities.
ISAIAH– It was not easy but I simply set my priorities right. My academics was first, I didn’t miss my classes for anything oo, church decoration was always on Saturday evenings, my internship took my Friday evenings and Saturday mornings (not every weekend though)
CDT– How many months/years was your internship period?
ISAIAH– I used about 1 and half year in Ile-Ife.
CDT– What year did you start Event Management as a pro?
ISAIAH– I started as a professional in 2015, that was after my basic and advanced class in event planning and decoration at Fruitful Bridals in Lagos state
CDT– Going back to the genesis, what was the major drive that led you into decoration? What made you join decoration subgroup of the fellowship?
ISAIAH– Joining the decoration subgroup was accidental; I never liked anything about the subgroup sef. Like most people say decoration na ladies stuff na. So after my foundation school, I was posted to the decoration subgroup, for general service for few weeks. It’s after this general service that I was at liberty to join the subgroup of my choice (which was academic subgroup). After the general service, the members of the decoration subgroup pleaded with me to wait for few more weeks as there was nobody to help with the climbing of the ladder, I waited ooo and it was in the cause of waiting that I eventually fell in love with the subgroup.
CDT– Uunnnn….. So climbing of ladder was the starting point and that was where the passion developed from?
ISAIAH– Abi ooo (laughs)
CDT– Which event was your first job that you did as an Event decorator?
ISAIAH: That was my class dinner party (2015 OAU Accounting graduates- “Los Vencedores”). I really appreciate my classmates (Los Vencedores) a lot, the feedback I got from that job gave me the courage to start my own company and also the first wedding decoration I got came from Los Vencedores. I thank my classmates for believing in me.
CDT– Which event has been the best for you so far?
ISAIAH– KM’17 (wedding). It’s the biggest I have done, and the result was massive. It’s the biggest because of the amount of money involved and that was the first time I handled that kind of money for a project.
CDT: On the contrary, which event would you say is the ‘awkward one’? Probably the one that didn’t turn out well as you thought or you didn’t get any positive feedback
ISAIAH– Can’t really think of any. In short what has kept me going are comments from my client and I believe I can do more
CDT– But there must have been an event that you would feel things didn’t really go well as you planned
ISAIAH– OK. That would be Joy & Ade’17, we didn’t get to use all the props we brought because of time. Even when the client appreciated me for the good job done, I felt somehow, because it would have been better if not for some issues with light.
CDT: What were some of the challenges you faced when you started Event Management and Decoration and what are the challenges you are still facing in the course of this business?
CDT: You’ve had your entire education journey in Nigeria, what is your view on Nigeria education? Is the system fair and good enough to build the younger generation?
ISAIAH -The system is fair but maybe not good enough for some set of people. There is actually quality education in Nigeria but very expensive. Majority can’t afford this quality education, and the system available for the majority is faulty. The emphasis these days is on the certificate; people go to school with the mentality of getting good grades and certificate so as to “look for jobs”. Nigeria educational system needs restructuring, people should learn and go to school with the mentality of starting a business and creating jobs. Also, the lecturers should start teaching students as if they are prospective leaders and business owners.
CDT: So what would you propose as the solution to make quality education affordable for the majority?
ISAIAH -The solution is actually obvious. Nigeria government has the capacity to make quality education affordable for every Nigerian child. The 2% education tax levied on companies incorporated in Nigeria should be used properly. That money should not only be invested in the system but in the personnel that keeps the system running; I mean the lecturers in higher institutions. Sincerely these people can’t give what they don’t have. Train them well, and they will make us better.
CDT: Let’s talk about governance. What’s your assessment of Pres. Buhari administration? It’s been over 2 years now.
ISAIAH -Full of drama, those in power are acting, citizens are watching. We don’t even know the producer and director (they call them cabals) laughsssssss.
CDT: Your advice to Nigeria youths, young Nigerians who desires to start their own businesses
ISAIAH – Follow your passion and have focus. Anyhow it is, just start first, small small but make sure you have a big vision. Keep your vision alive, be determined, don’t result to giving up and always remember to commit your ways/works/plans to God. Everything without Him is ZERO
CDT: How do you think government can support Startups? (SMEs)
ISAIAH -Business management training classes and loan facility at no or single digit interest rate
CDT: What was the reaction from your family when you decided to start an Event Management company, even though you studied accounting? You know African parents can be like ‘How does accounting relate to decorations”
ISAIAH -As expected, dad didn’t support the idea at first, but I assured him not to worry. It’s a matter of time I’d bring out the best in me and to God be the glory; I’m now a first-class event manager in the making.
CDT– You will soon become a Chartered Accountant and you as well an Entrepreneur. With your growing love and passion for Event Management, how do you plan to strike the balance? Would you focus more on Event Management full time and keep your Accounting certificates in the wardrobe?
ISAIAH -I am currently managing the two. I have a team I work with now, so when I’m not available, they take care of duties.
CDT: The name of your company and social media handles
ISAIAH –EVENT FILLERS…1st class event
On Instagram; @eventfillers
CDT– For someone who would like to train under you and learn the art of Event Management and decorations, how long will the training last and the amount?
ISAIAH -There are different packages with different prices. Anyone interested can contact me via our social media pages or call me on 07034658337. We are based in Lagos and we are mobile as well, so we still work outside Lagos.
CDT: Any special lady in your life right now? Because ladies will surely be around a young chap and brilliant entrepreneur like you…
ISAIAH -Yes, I have a Queen Desire
CDT- You may want to tell us her name and few details
ISAIAH– You will get to know when the time is right.
CDT: Thank you so much for your time so far. One last question, being an Event Manager, what are your future plans and aspirations
ISAIAH– To be at the forefront of the Event Management and Decoration industry, starting an educational foundation that sponsors the less privilege. I also want to own an Academic school, I want to prove practical education. Learning to start work and not learning to work for others
CDT– Thank you so much for your time
ISAIAH– I feel honoured. God bless you real good
Thank you all for reading. If you are or you know an exceptional young brilliant entrepreneur and you would love to be interviewed and showcase his/her works, feel free to contact us and let’s be part of your success story. Once again, thank you for reading.
Interview conducted and compiled by Oladapo Siyanbola for CDT
Twitter and IG handle- @dapo_dmart